The house was packed but I found a seat at a table with a lovely couple, Josh McIntyre & Beatriz Loyola. Our host Carol Graser began with a poem by Sharon Olds, then on to the open mic.
Gordon Haymon brought us out of Winter to the flotsam "On Shore," even finding a boat with a crew.
Troy Book Makers. I had heard David read a number of years ago & have admired his larger work for social justice, particularly working to abolish the death penalty. He talked about how he came to write poetry after the trial of his brother Ted, the so-called "Unabomber." He read from his book, beginning with poems to his brother, "Woodsman" & "Lost," the themes expanding from the personal to relationships & even politics. "Rosillos Mountain" is in West Texas, where he once lived & is pictured on the cover of his book. His poems are mostly short, often aphoristic, as in "Balance," often slipping into abstraction. He was best when he focused on images, as in the dream poem "Excavation." He also talked about his writing group, some of whom were in the audience, how he wouldn't be writing without the group. He ended with a love poem, "Diaphanous Beauty Pearl."
After the break, Carol Graser brought us back to the open mic with a poem about an ice-skating collision, "Public Skate." Kate McNery's poem "The Mess" was a spider in her therapist's office. Therese Broderick read the latest poem, "The Art Salesman," from her new series about her father & the history of Watervliet. W.D. Clarke's "The Ballad of Robert Brill" was a tasty, rhyming snack. Josh McIntyre did 2 short poems, the story of partying a bit too much, "Wedding Memories," & "Perspective."
The first Wednesday of every month, historic Caffè Lena, Phila St., Saratoga Springs, NY, $3.00 donation.